Don’t miss | Sun Gin, 격 (Kyuk) & 덥덥이 (dubdubee) – Arkestra

Don’t miss | Sun Gin, 격 (Kyuk) & 덥덥이 (dubdubee) – Arkestra

We are officially halfway through the year, so now it’s probably safe to say that Arkestra might be one of the most solid albums unveiled so far, a project you cannot miss if you’re into BoomBap!

Arkestra is the result of a collaboration between the producer Sun Gin and the rappers 격 (kyuk) & 덥덥이 (dubdubee), a 10-tracks album that will surely leave you with a lasting impression.

Arkestra is immersive, sometimes even overwhelming. Sun Gin unleashed his craftsmanship on the beats, on perfect osmosis with 격 (kyuk) & 덥덥이’s (dubdubee) striking performances.



I/. Introduction

Arkestra is striking because of its intensity on the beat and the rap, but also because of the story that it tells. Or at least that it seems to tell, because as always the commentary that will follow is my interpretation, it’s clouded by my perception.

It’s also important to highlight that all the translations used in this commentary come from a lyrics video available on Sun Gin’s YouTube Channel. 

The album starts on the eponymous track Arkestra. It feels like an introduction, they set the context as we learn what Arkestra is, or appears to be, and from the very first seconds, you’re hooked.

It’s captivating, almost hypnotic. There is a sense of mystery, something mystical. It’s a drumless beat, yet the rhythm is paradoxically at the center.

It’s partly because it’s drumless, that the rhythm stands out so much, it’s quite brilliant. Thus, it’s with sharp precision that 격 (Kyuk) & 덥덥이’s (dubdubee) are cadencing the beat with their flows. But the rhythm is also at the center lyrically, and this starting from the very first verses.

박자에 대한 것
rhythm은 위대한 것
나의 신

“Obsession, About the rhythm

His Greatness

Dear God”

격 (Kyuk) in Arkestra

The rhythm seems to be elevated at a state of deity, which is confirmed a few verses later:

나의 신에게 바치는 고해
내가 탈수 있는 가장 섬세한 박자에
세상이 끝난다해도 내 손엔 딱 하나의
아무도 건드릴 수 없는

“Confession for my god

The most delicate rhythm in my bag

At the end, only thing in my hand

Forever mine”

격 (Kyuk) in Arkestra

Their existences are revolving around the rhythm, their god, but also around Rap with references such as “Rap til I die” or also:

악마들을 찢어 흘려 하수구로
나란 존재는 목적이 있을지도
저 목에 적이 없는 이유
내 목에 적이 없는 이유

“Rip demons, I drain’em

My existence, might have a purpose

No enemies when I cross

No enemies when I spit”

격 (Kyuk) in Arkestra

Thus the mystical atmosphere you can feel at first is developed throughout the lyrics, and you can notice in the translations provided by Sun Gin, the omnipresence of a religious lexical field with the use of words such as “Blasphemy”, “Faith”, “Revelation”, “Godly mind”, “worship” with a grande finale on the following verses, referring directly to Arkestra:

Arkestra 인고의 시간을 지나
기준 미달인 놈들 처단 후 결국 우린 빛나
그를 향해 손 뻗었고 열렬히 답해 주기만
믿음으로 이루어지리다
Arkestra 인고의 시간을 지나
기준 미달인 놈들 처단 후 결국 우리는 빛나
그를 향해 손 뻗었고 그는 친히 답해준다

Arkestra, passing the time of endurance

Punishing crooks, we shine in the end

Reach for the god, waiting for revelation

Done by faith

Arkestra, passing the time of endurance,

Punishing crooks, we shine in the end

Reach for the god, he answers back…”

덥덥이 (dubdubee) in Arkestra

Is Arkestra a cult dedicated to rhythm? Is Arkestra a deity? It’s not clear yet, but one thing is for sure, and it’s how fundamental it is, along with rhythm and Rap.  

II/. Revelation

With the song Arkestra, the décor is set, but it’s truly with the 2nd song that the story recounted in the album starts.

There is no time to breathe; there is basically no transition from Arkestra to In the Beginning, the latest starting with a loud percussion, maybe a 북 (Buk) – a traditional Korean drum – creating a stark contrast with Arkestra and its drumless instrumental. It’s as entrancing though. It almost sounds like a brewing storm or a ritual for an invocation, but either way, it sonically gives the feeling that something is bound to happen.

And something does happen.

In the Beginning is about 격 (kyuk) & 덥덥이’s (dubdubee) first encounter with Hip-Hop, respectively in 2001 for 격 (kyuk) and in 2006 for 덥덥이’s (dubdubee) as implied in the lyrics – it’s not an affirmation though, but more of a guess.

The song indeed starts on 격’s (kyuk) part which ends with the verse

In the beginning
Since 2001
내 첫 가사는 내가 사는 세상에 대한 저주
Arkestra에 대한 경배 그 외의
신이 있다면 그건 귀신 아님 허주

“In the beginning

Since 2001

My first words, a curse to my world

Worship for Arkestra, ghost aside, godless nights”

격 (Kyuk) in In the Beginning

And you might have guessed it but 덥덥이’s (dubdubee) ends on the same lyrics, except for the year, 2006 instead of 2001.

In those lyrics, it feels like there is this idea of being reborn with the discovery of Hip-Hop, their first words being their first rap verses, with even the mention of “Second-chance self” in 덥덥이’s (dubdubee) part. The discovery of Hip-Hop is a revelation. The discovery of Hip-Hop is life-changing.

Where the educational system failed, Hip-Hop is depicted as a haven in 격’s (kyuk) lyrics. A haven from a reality tarnished by bullies.

식당에서 그의 식판을 엎은 면도날이
장난감인 양아치 애미는 식모살이
날의 주인이 밝혀지면 그 애미는 한봇다리
반찬 들고 교무실로
퍼지는 악취
귓구멍에 가득
눌러 꽂은 힙합에 세상은 까마득
교과서엔 그가 찾는 답이 없지
저 새끼들은 이해 못 할 가사들
선생들은 까막눈

“Bully with a razor blade, knocks down his tray

Son of a kitchen maid

His mom, apologizes with kitchen-mades

Our classroom stinks

Jammed earholes

Rap songs pressed in, dark world

Textbooks, never show answer for him

These lyrics, not for bullies

Blind teachers”

격 (Kyuk) in In the Beginning

Similarly, in 덥덥이’s (dubdubee) part Hip-Hop is referred to as an alternative reality to a boring environment.

피곤에 찌든
채로 선 등굣길
지루한 기류
걍 이어폰을 꼽지
난 도 관심이 없어
쟤네가 뭔 얘길 하든
심장에 반응이 없어 but
내 귈 찌르는 소리
골초 고집 외치는 드타의 고집쟁이
우리반 유행가는 모두에게 퍼져가는
그 곡이었고 처음이었어 그 길로 모인
우린 그었지 벽에다 짙은 yellow linez
부랄된 그놈들 귓구녕 본토 랩 때려 박고
그때 열정만큼은 확실히 professor

“Eyes closed, in the schoolbus

Put in earphones, boring currents

No interests for them

Indifferent heart for meaningless dialogs, but

Pricked up ears

Stubborn smoker like DT

Spreading rap song, infected classmates

My class, united for the first time

Thick yellow linez on the wall

American bars in the ears

Passion of a professor”

덥덥이 (dubdubee) in In the Beginning

The direct aftermath of this revelation is Hard Digging. Hip-Hop has just been discovered, it’s a brand-new world with so much to explore.

그 시절 그흔한 유튜브도 없던 때
소리바다 혹은 max mp3를 돌던 때
마치 하이에나처럼 그 주변만 어슬렁대
들리는 대로 닥치는 대로 전부 섭렵해
내 첫번째 레이더에 잡힌 타겟명 우탱클랜
랩앁이 떼앁 됐지 method man
내 swag의 정의 거기서 정립됐고 연신
되지도 않는 발음으로
따라 부르는게 내 소일거리
온 곳이 별천지 온종일 두더지처럼 디긴
밀린 숙제하듯이 찾던건 절대 안 비밀

“Back then, when there was no YouTube

Soribada or max mp3 for music

Prowling around like a hyena

Overtake every music I heard

Wu-Tang Clan, the target caught on my first radar

From rap shit to mob shit, Method man

Definition of my swag, established there

My pastime, rapping along with bad


A different world, digging like a mole all-day

Felt like doing overdue homework, no secret”.

격 (Kyuk) in Hard Digging

The fact that they are rapping each verse alternatively on this song is very interesting, and a clever way to signify that this passion for Hip-Hop is shared.

They keep on doing references to rappers who made history, MF Doom, Biggie, 2pac, Nas, Cypress Hill, Jay Z… It’s like a religion, and in this song once again, you can notice references to the religious lexical field “faithful follower”, “School, Religion, overpass”… the song ending on those verses:

대체 못해 nobody.
이게 우리 세계

“Nobody can replace

This is our world

Arkestra over us”.

덥덥이 (dubdubee) in Hard Digging

Followed by an extract of an interview of BIG DADDY KANE by ICE-T from his documentary The Art of Rap on the importance of originality.

“ICE-T: If you were going to personally train a rapper to be great – you met a new cat – what would be the first lesson you’d give him?


BIG DADDY KANE: Well, the first thing I would try to teach him – the very first thing would be originality. You know, say – I think that is so important because it’s like it is – whenever you’re following a trend, trends come and go.


ICE-T: True.


BIG DADDY KANE: So, when that trend is gone, you’re gone.”


III/. On a Mission

This extract and the topic it covers can be perceived as an announcement of what is yet to come because in the next songs, and especially the three following ones, that is to say, Tim Duncan, Artisanship, and Homo Drumiens, you sort of get the feeling that they are on a crusade.

격’s (Kyuk) goes pretty strong in the track Tim Duncan with the following verses:

기꺼이 목을 내줘
난 숟가락 괴물 중 금수저
이건 인간의 영역 밖이지 금수전
신이 났네 불나방들
드럼통 주위는 불구경
모조리 싹 다 에임 조준 38구경
Arkestra에게 바치는 재물
신의 반찬투정
이런 질 나쁜 놈들
이것들론 영양소 부족
Microphone check in my studio

“Take my neck, I’m a rich spoon monster

Beyond human realm, a tale of the beasts

Exited tiger moths, burning drum cans

I aim’em, 38 caliber

Oblation for Arkestra

God’s complaint about dishes

Low quality humans, malnutrition

Microphone check in my fuckin studio, words

Are my limbs”

격 (Kyuk) in Tim Duncan

In those verses, there is this idea to fight superficiality with the criticism of the rich spoon and also the ‘Low quality humans’. Supposing that the god they refer to would be related to Hip-Hop in some way, then the “dishes”, “low quality humans” and “malnutrition” could be seen as a reference to fake rappers.

This could be confirmed by 덥덥이’s (dubdubee) verses:

그래야 힙합 하지 힙합바지 입는다고만
되는게 아니야 그럼 다 진작하지
Arkestra 등을 든든히 지켜
다음절 라임 그딴거 정의
몰라도 꾸준히 짖어
인건 비 뭐 못 챙겨도 신속히 지속
Mr.기본기 마치 티모시 던컨 처럼

“This game, not about baggy pants

Nothing is easy

Arkestra got my back

Spit multi syllables, with no definition

Low cost of labor, long-lasting run

Mr Fundamental like Timothy Duncan”

덥덥이 (dubdubee) in Tim Duncan

Tim Duncan is a famous NBA player who used to be called Mr Fundamental by his coach O’Neal because his fundamental skills were perfect. Therefore with such a title, but also the sample used in the previous song, it appears that they are calling for a return to the basics, skills before trends, look, and so on.

In addition, the song ends with a new sample of words originally from Calvin Coolidge, on the importance of persistence, and how it’s prevailing over concepts such as talent, genius, or even education.

In a way, Artisanship, the following song, can be an illustration of this persistence, in 덥덥이’s (dubdubee) lyrics for instance:

먼 미래만 보며 치니 늘어난 비거리
reloaded 재충전 그딴 건 없지
밑빠진 독 물 부어도 거 덧없지
천천히 그런건 없지 몰아붙이니
금세 닳아버린 건전지
새 취미 갖는 것도 벅차

“Aim for the far future, longer distance

Reloaded, no recharging

Bottomless pit, fleeting

No slomo, I push myself

Worn out battery

Even hobby is too heavy”

덥덥이 (dubdubee) in Artisanship

But persistence is not an easy path, as signified by his last verses:

내겐 구원이 필요해 절박한 나의 절규
Arkestra 그만 보고 나는 걸어
쓸데없는 일 그만 접고 전불 걸어

“Desire for salvation, my desperate cry

Arkestra, I walk with my eyes closed

Fuck useless works, now we bet everything”

덥덥이 (dubdubee) in Artisanship

Persistence can be a lonely path, as one tunes out the world to dedicate themselves to their craft, as pictured in 격’s (Kyuk) lyrics:

8-1번 going home
고립시켜 무인도
골을 식힌 후 tuning on
MIC 켜지면 안 들려 초인종
내 경지 초인종
세 번째 눈의 깜빡임
Arkestra여 내 미랠 보여줘

“8-1 going home, Isolated in a deserted island

Cold head, tuning on

Mic turned on, doorbell, turned off

Me, a transcend human

Third eye blinking

Arkestra, show my future”

격 (Kyuk) in Artisanship

Sonically Artisanship has a menacing side but is also characterized by a quite dystopian vibe that could resonate with this feeling of isolation.

But then again, they are on a mission, as reminded in the song Homo Drumiens featuring NAVY EGO:

그는 신들의 신이야
불은 동북쪽에, 인간은 못 해 진화
신발은 신화, 내 전진은 곧
귀 통해 전해진 그의 점 믿는 것
나를 시 낭독쯤으로 친 자, 조준하고
1마하 근접한 Rhyme 시위 당긴 다음에
심장 관통해, 꺼 신음도
듣고 싶겠냐, 그가 더럽혀지는 꼴

“God of gods

Northeast fire, only human extincts

Mythological shoes, take a step

For my eyes only, his fortune-telling

Never was a poetry reading, I aim’em

Rhymes on bowstring, 1 Mach

Pierce the heart, mute moanings

No tainted voice for the god, fuck’em”

NAVY EGO in Homo Drumiens

Rap is often referred to as Rhythm And Poetry, but here in NAVY EGO’s verse, it’s not poetry anymore, it’s a weapon, a weapon to serve the god, against the “tainted voice”. The term “tainted voice” might be a metaphor for the autotune, or alternatively any rapper who wouldn’t be genuine about Hip-Hop, tainted as in ‘corrupted’.

It seems that it’s what is implied in 격’s (Kyuk) part as well:

fake이라 붙여놓고 real 한척하니
얼마나 같잖냐
쇼프로란 명목,
Arkestra에게 대신 사죄, 난 없어 면목
내가 그 들이라면
fake 스티커를 찔러 같이 할복
내가 꼰대
힙합은 말이지 bla bla bla
사는 방식,
뱀새끼들은 분란을 틈타
목걸이랑 교배
1년마다 교대
발전이 없는 놈들 올해 잘 버텼네 용케

“Put a fake mark on, pretend to be real

Fucked up, titular show program

Apologize for Arkestra, can’t face him

Will rip my fake mark and stomach, If I were


Stick in the mud,

HipHop is like bla bla blab la

Way of living

Snakes fuck with chains, under disorder

Take turns, annually

No progressions, they survived luckily”

격 (Kyuk) in Homo Drumiens

I might be overreaching, but those lyrics might be interpreted as a diss toward Show Me The Money (SMTM), with the “titular show program”, the reference to the chain, or the “Take turns, annually”, as in: rappers taking turns on the show every year.

This would somewhat resonate with a common criticism of SMTM and how the same popular rappers would attend the competition again and again. But then again, I might be wrong.

That being said, in Homo Drumiens they assert once again their dedication to Arkestra, especially in 덥덥이’s (dubdubee) lyrics:

Arkestra 너에게 유일한 선택
Arkestra 섬겨야 하는 존재
Arkestra 그에게 바치는 고해

“Arkestra, only god for you

Arkestra, only god to serve

Arkestra, a confession for him”

덥덥이 (dubdubee) in Homo Drumiens

Even describing themselves as “3-headed Cerberus” with NAVY EGO.

IV/. In the Depth of the Cave | The Temptation of Success

But there is a but. As much as they are on a mission, the three next songs are a painful reminder that life can be tough sometimes. 격’s (Kyuk) emphasized this point sternly in Memoir:

세상은 나 없이도 참 변화무쌍하게
변한다는걸 알기에
나 역시도 변하는 사람이었지
돌이켜보니 세상은 혹독하게
그걸 원한듯 하다
인간이라 함은 어떻게든 살고
지옥에서도 희노애락을 찾아 적응하지

“The whole world changes, even without me

I also changed

Looking back, the world wanted it harshly

Humans, live somehow

Adapt with joys and sorrows, even in hell”

격 (Kyuk) in Memoir

More often than not, you have no other choice but to adapt, not everything is under your control. This is not a new concept in the album though. This idea of having to face things slipping out of your control is actually noticeable in previous songs, and especially in 덥덥이’s (dubdubee) Artisanship lyrics mentioned earlier. Sound-wise, this could also be a reason for the discordant vibe of Homo Drumiens and how the piano takes a dramatic turn.

In comparison, Memoir is sonically more tamed, with a vintage patina that could be reminiscent of some sort of recollection. In a way, Memoir can feel like a life review, an assessment of how things went, we saw that on 격’s (Kyuk) part but it’s also the case for 덥덥이’s (dubdubee) lyrics:

난공불락의 요새 성공이란 존재
늘 숭배 해왔지만 이젠 보내야 할 듯해
목 노아 울어도 넘지 못하는 경계
롤렉스는커녕 대출 빚 갚기에 급급해
내 선택 언제나 옳았다고 믿고 해왔건만
이젠 보내야 할 듯해 샴페인 든 축배
사지에 몰린 두려움은 사질 뜯긴 듯한 고통
아이 같던 내 순수함은 아쉽게도 종료

“Impregnable fortress, the name of success

Was a word to worship, now it’s time to let go

Crying out, still below the threshold

Everyday paying off for loans, no Rolex dreams

My choices, always believed they were right

Now it’s time to let go, toast with champagne

Fear of death, limb-tearing pain

My pure heart stopped beating, no more


덥덥이 (dubdubee) in Memoir

Those verses are hitting quite hard. Disillusionment of success. Sobering reality.

Pursuing music was the right choice, but even though it felt right, still the tough reality is that there was no guarantee of success.

So what to do? Well, you can only leave it to superior forces.

난 진심으로 이제 뭘 해야 될지 모르겠어
그저 신에게 빌어 기회를
한 번만 더 주기를 빌어
이 지겨운 사이클 나로 인해 비롯됐어
인정해 거 그러니 회생의
기회를 한 번만 더 주기를 빌어
한 번만 원해 기적
한 번만 원해 기적
더 바라지도 않아
한 번만 줘라 기적
한 번만 주기를 기적

“Don’t know what to do now

Just pray to god, for one more chance

This blinking cycle, all my fault

I admit everything, give me one last chance

Only one miracle

Only one miracle

Nothing more

Only one miracle

Only one miracle”

덥덥이 (dubdubee) in Memoir

Paradoxically, 덥덥이’s (dubdubee) first verse on Purgatory, the next song, can convey a contradictory spirit depending on how you interpret it.

운이란 말은 나와는 상관없는 말이었지
난 감이 없지 그저
장신정신 태도로 한걸음

“The word luck has nothing to do with me

No instinct, takes a step with craftsmanship”

덥덥이 (dubdubee) in Purgatory

There is no such thing as a miracle, instinct, or luck, it’s all about craftsmanship. Or, conversely, does it mean that he has no luck?

It’s tough to say, especially with verses such as:

여전히 고파 배
나 랩다운 랩
하고픈게 전부였네

“Still hungry

All I wanted was nice bars”

덥덥이 (dubdubee) in Purgatory

Or even more striking:

믿음 지워 그저 지독히도
고독한 싸움일 뿐
무명의 시선
100명 중 한명일 뿐 scene stealer
인기척 없는 내 타임라인 진취적
발상을 할 수 없는 이 구조 안에
날 단 한번만 구할 수 있다면
나 뭐든 할게
Arkestra 제발 나를 거부하지 말길

“Erase the faith, a lonely fight

Unkown’s gaze

Only one 100, scene stealer

My unpopular timeline

No enterprising ideas in this system

Willing to do anything, for a single rescue

Arkestra, please take my hand

Once is enough, please don’t leave me”

덥덥이 (dubdubee) in Purgatory

And maybe this dichotomy is on purpose. The title of the track is Purgatory after all.

In a way, the end of 격’s (Kyuk) part resonates with 덥덥이’s (dubdubee) lyrics in Memoir, and the question of the ‘choice’.

제일선에 섰네 마치 제1중대 제1소대
최선의 선택
이건 어떤 신념 때문만이 아닌
단지 살아남기 위한 최선의 최선책
과거가 아닌 내일을 보네
이 앨범에서 베일을 벗네

“Standing on the front line, like the 1st platoon

Of the 1st company

The best choice

More than a belief

The best best choice to survive


See tomorrow not the past


격 (Kyuk) in Purgatory

Pursuing Hip-Hop was indeed the right choice, but was it even a choice in the first place? Hip-Hop seems to be as essential as breathing here, so can we talk about a choice when your survival depends on it?

It’s a dead-end, success appears to be unreachable, but survival depends on Hip-Hop and so we reach a peak in the evolution of the album. As 격’s (Kyuk) voice resonates, you slowly start to hear the drum, morphing into a drum roll that progressively gains intensity, like a rumbling. 

Then starts Visualization featuring IGNITO, it’s thunderous. 격’s (Kyuk) delivery is almost frenetic, and as assertive as he was in his previous verse, here you have again this idea of shattered hope for success.

그럼에도 불구하고
자본에 휩쓸리지 않는 내 위신
섰지 물구나무 그 모습은 귀신
전설이 되지 못한채 누구라도
잡아먹을듯한 지독한 악령
생을 살적 랩에 미친


My prestige, never get swept up, fuck the


Stand on my hands, like a ghost

Not becoming a legend

An evil spirit, willing to prey everyone

Life of a Rap maniac”

격 (Kyuk) in Visualization

As for 덥덥이’s (dubdubee), well those are his final lyrics on Visualization:

나도 내가 아직 준비 안된거 알아
그래도 혹시나 만약이란
말 때문에 붙잡고 간다
서른 줄 넘으니 시들어가는 내 안의 야망
등가교환했지 육체의
안식과 영혼의 가난
이건 사는게 아니라고 다그쳐
아무도 날 주목하지 않아도 몸 가누어
Arkestra 그에게 이 한 몸 바쳐
피로 물들은 내 영광의 상처

“I know I’m not ready yet

But holds “maybe, if” as a rope

Withering ambitions, being over thirty

Equalized comfortable life and poverty of soul

Shouting out, this is not living

Control myself, even if no one pays attention

Arkestra, I dedicated myself

Wounds of my glory, stained with blood”

덥덥이 (dubdubee) in Visualization

It’s on those powerful words that this album could end, but then IGNITO’s verse brings a whole new shift to the project.

IGNITO’s verse almost looks like a direct reply to 격 (Kyuk) & 덥덥이’s (dubdubee) lyrics.

불같던 호기심 또는
열정과의 싸움에서 못 이긴
도전의 결과는 보통
손익이 따른 굴복이지
어떤 게 성공인지는 최후에 논할 몫이니
이건 초입 길에서는
볼 필요 없는 충고이길
예술이 길다면 삶 또한 길지
누구도 없는 지루함만이
동행하는 고빗길
거듭 유혹하듯 밖으로
뻗어나간 출구의 빛이

“Challenges beaten by fiery curiosity or passion

Often results in surrender with profits and


Debating for success, the last part

I hope this is unnecessary advice at the


If art is long, life is long

A steep road, boredom is the only companion

Repeated temptation by the exit sign light”

IGNITO in Visualization

If by challenges we take the example of Hip-Hop, it seems that IGNITO is explaining that when someone is pursuing rap originally by curiosity, or passion, there are often two main outcomes.

  1. The artist surrenders by quitting Hip-Hop.
  2. The artist surrenders by corrupting their artistic vision, in order to make a living from Hip-Hop.

So while they still technically do Hip-Hop, it can be interpreted as a form of surrender because they gave in to trends and so on.

When he says that he hopes the advice about the debate for success to be unnecessary in the beginning. He probably means that when you start Hip-Hop, it should be because you’re genuinely passionate about Hip-Hop, and not solely because you hope to be successful through Hip-Hop.

This fact is important, because Hip-Hop is art, and just like any art, it’s a lifelong lesson. You never stop to learn, to experiment, and to improve your craft, hence to me the verse ‘If art is long, life is long’.

This also means that just like life, art is not a linear process. Sometimes artists are struggling creatively wise, and it’s fundamentally part of the journey. The road of art is not easy and not meant to be easy. It just is. 

But because this journey dedicated to art can be tough, one can be tempted to take the easy way out by giving in to the idea of success. Maybe it’s what he means by “Repeated temptation by the exit sign light”.

The idea of success is a temptation because it can be a relief from things such as doubts, a temptation that can lead an artist to abandon their art. If we keep the parallel to religious imagery, success could be compared to the golden calf.

IGNITO thus recommends artists to free themselves from it.

Arkestra 내 손에 결실을 쥐여줘
이 분노를 거두고 담담히
견뎌낼 수 있도록

“Arkestra, put the fruit in my hand

So that I can reap this anger and endure it


IGNITO in Visualization

This verse might be an analogy to the Forbidden Fruit, the Fruit of Knowledge. In some Philosophical movements, the act of eating the forbidden fruit is actually interpreted as an act of liberation, an act of self-actualization, of free will.

However, this reasoning brings us up to one of the first questions raised in this commentary: what is Arkestra?

In the Book of Genesis, it is stated that Eve was tempted by a Snake. This Snake would be Satan, and eating the fruit means defying God.

Complementary to this, at the end of Artisanship MV, you can see the words “Arkestra is dead” on a black screen which is not without reminding Nietzsche’s famous statement “God is dead” (Gott ist tot).

The statement “God is dead” is also intimately correlated to the idea of free will, of transcending Christian morality and values.

So is Arkestra a Deity? Is Arkestra a Demon? Is it both or something else all over? Are they following Arkestra or are they transcending it? I’ll leave it to you to forge your own opinion.

What is for sure though, is that Success is temptation and that the pursuit of success can bring an artist to their demise.

V/. Transcendence

나 그래서 이 한 몸 바치기로 했다
상관없지 맨땅부터 하더라도 백날
삶을 저주할 바에 접신의 경지에 올라
의 삶은 종말 했지 다시
도화진 백지 출발선부터 갱신
몸을 리듬에 맡겨 뇌를
굳이 쓰지 않더라도

“So I decided to dedicate myself

Nothing matters, even from the bare ground

Stop cursing everyday, feeling realm of


No more fucked up life, blank paper once

Again, stand at the starting line

Leave your body to the rhythm, logics are


덥덥이 (dubdubee) in Possesion

덥덥이 (dubdubee) opens the song Possession with those verses, on a resounding beat from Sun Gin. In the end, it doesn’t really matter what Arkestra is, the only thing which matters is the rhythm.

All the suffering they went through because they got distracted by the idea of success is finally over. They find their way again; they can start over. It’s a transcendence by the rhythm. A Possession.

VI/. Conclusion

Whether it is for the work on the arrangements by Sun Gin, or 격 (Kyuk) & 덥덥이’s (dubdubee) lyrics, Arkestra is most definitely an intense experience.

They go straight to the point and are not afraid to face the cold truth in their performances.

Arkestra conveys an essential message and is a very much-needed reminder about art, and the importance of not losing yourself in the pursuit of success. 

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Such a captivating review! I will carefully listen to the album from start to finish!

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